Essa Salt Lake

Whitecaps FC U-18 and U-16 Residency squads remain unbeaten on home turf

Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-18 and U-16 Residency teams remained unbeaten on home soil Saturday with a pair of wins against San Jose Earthquakes academy teams at Surrey's Newton Athletic Park. The U-18 Residency side (10W-4L-3D) got things started with a 3-0 victory, followed by the U-16 Residency squad (11W-4L-2D) earning their own 3-0 win in United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) action.


The U-18 Residency squad earned their second consecutive win at home after defeating San Jose Earthquakes U-17/18 3-0 on Saturday.

The ‘Caps took an early lead with midfielder Spencer DeBoice finishing a breakaway after being sent in on goal by striker Carlos Patino in the third minute. San Jose came close on 11 minutes, ringing a 20-yard strike off the crossbar, but it was the team in white that doubled their advantage. A series of beautiful passes on 43 minutes culminated with midfielder Ben Fisk feeding a brilliant ball down the right flank to Wesley Cain, who then centred to Patino for a one-touch finish into the back of the net to put the ‘Caps up 2-0 at the break.

The home side scored their final goal on 74 minutes, as midfielder Yassin Essa played a beautiful give-and-go with Patino at the top of the box before finishing low into the corner. Goalkeeper Sean Melvin came up with several big saves to record the shutout after returning from Orlando, Florida, where he had been training with the MLS squad.

"It's a very good result against the academy team of another MLS club," said Richard Grootscholten, Whitecaps FC Residency technical director and head coach. "The way we got the result was especially pleasing. We've worked a lot on the shape of the team and getting our shape back when we lose the ball, and it was much better than it was in previous matches, so I was very happy about that."

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency U-18
Sean Melvin; Jason van Blerk (Quinton Duncan '76), Tim Hickson, Ben McKendry, Adam Polakiewicz; Wesley Cain, Yassin Essa, Alex Rowley, Ben Fisk, Spencer DeBoice (Sebastien Cabrera); Carlos Patino


The U-16 Residency squad won for the fifth time in their past six USSDA matches, as they defeated San Jose Earthquakes U-15/16 3-0 on Saturday.

The ‘Caps took the lead on 14 minutes, as Sam Adekugbe made a terrific run down the left flank before finding Jordan Haynes in the box, who then beat his defender and finished with a low left-footed strike. Four minutes later, the home side went up 2-0, as Mitch Piraux headed in a corner from Haynes. The second half was back and forth, but  the 'Caps put the match out of reach on 76 minutes when Matthew Chow was taken down in the box, allowing Marco Bustos to step up and bury a penalty kick for a 3-0 final score. Goalkeeper Marco Carducci notched the shutout for the 'Caps.

"It was another disciplined performance," said Craig Dalrymple, Whitecaps FC Residency assistant technical director and assistant head coach. "Guys are creating chances now consistently every week and what's also been pleasing has been our defensive performance. We've spent a ton of time of staying compact, but creating chances from that base, and I think today was a perfect example of the boys executing that."

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency U-16
Marco Carducci; Matthew van der Eyden, Alex Comsia, Jackson Farmer, Sam Adekugbe; Parker Ellis (Matthew Chow), Mitch Piraux, Liam Elbourne, Marco Bustos, Jordan Haynes (Francesco Sapporito 78'); Titouan Chopin

Next up for Whitecaps FC Residency squads are for two more sets of matches at home, defending their turf at Newton Athletic Park against the San Francisco Bay area’s De Anza Force on Saturday, March 24, and then against Pateadores on Saturday, March 31.